1. Ptit Singe Member

    French From France

    Je me demande comment traduire en anglais l'une de mes expressions francaises preferees : "petit joueur"

    Pour information, un "petit joueur" est quelqu'un qui n'ose pas prendre de risques. On dit aussi de cette personne qu "il joue petit bras". Il ne s'agit pas vraiement d'une insulte, plutot d'un moyen de chambrer...
    C'est surtout utilise dans le cadre d'un sport, parfois dans la vie courante.

    J'ai trouve "Choke !" sur le forum. J'ai l'impression que ca peut etre utilise dans le meme genre de situations mais je ne suis pas sur qu'il s agisse du meme sens.

    Merci, par avance.

    Ptit Singe.
  2. captain_rusty Senior Member

    Central France
    Like an over-cautious player? I'm not sure whether there's an idiom in English...
  3. KittyCatty

    KittyCatty Senior Member

    English UK
    Could you say "a careful player"? This communicates someone not into taking large risks but "playing it safe".
    Actually, "playing it safe" could work as an idiom, it is often used to describe somebody's careful, non-risktaking actions.
  4. timboleicester

    timboleicester Senior Member

    English - UK
    Whenever I am insulting a French friend about being an "amateur" ie a beginner without experience, I often think of "petit joueur" in this context. As far as "choke" is concerned it can happen to Wimbledon champions when the event gets to them and they "choke" this happens on the big points especially.
  5. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
    small-time player
  6. timboleicester

    timboleicester Senior Member

    English - UK
    sorry i forgot what i was doing ... i use the word "amateur" to translate "petit joueur"
  7. DBlomgren

    DBlomgren Senior Member

    Costa Rica
    English, USA
    I agree that it means "amateur."
  8. spinman New Member

    I was always of the impression that it meant someone who easily felt hurt or offended, or even was a bit of a coward? If this is correct then translations might include 'chicken' or 'shitty pants'. I did not hear it being used for amateur, or I misunderstood ...
  9. marcsev77 Senior Member

    Français - French
    can't one say "light weight"?
  10. spinman New Member

    I found a nice explanation in French on kelbet.com:

    Ce qui est surtout visé dans le dédain du « petit joueur », c’est le défaut d’entreprise et le manque total d’ambition.

    Rien en lui de brillant et, rien en lui de ludique. Il joue petit et repart à l’occasion avec un petit gain. Surtout, il oublie la convivialité du jeu et omet son aléa indéterminé .

    For a participant or player "light weight" to me seems more related to lack of skill or quality. A good translation would capture the lack of ambition and the fear for losing (face). Participants like this are bad for a social game or activity, as they contribute little to the fun of playing. As they say in the US: "go big, or go home"!

    I think the same argument holds for "amateur". A petit joueur may be very skilled and advanced in the game, but will play not to lose.

    a "tight player"? Maybe an English native could help out here?
  11. thomasthefatpie New Member

    I know this post is very old now but may come in helpful for someone else struggling with this expression, Petit-jouer, from my experience with french people is generally used as an insult between friends, a little bit like "you're chicken!" or "don't be such a pussy just do it" when someone's scared to do something." or For example someone is going to leave a party early or they can't handle enough alcohol they would say you are a petit-joeur like you are a "light-weight" however the word that I find probably fits best in most occasions is the word "Loser", "you're such a loser,leaving the party early." or "pussy", " don't be such a pussy, don't leave so early." with regards to sport "amateur" is probably the best but then again depending on the context loser can be used here too especially when you're talking between friends. 75% of the time loser is my favourite translation for this. Hopefully this will have been able to improve peoples understanding of this expression which is used in different contexts so that you are able to decide for yourself which word fits best. :) Good luck

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